Kimberly Ann

Program Manager, Atienza Kali

This conversation is closed.

What is your biggest fear?

What is your biggest fear? Why? What have you done to over come it?

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    Aug 8 2013: Although I do not personally believe in a god, this message is very close to my heart, and reminds me of what my greatest fear can be at times.

    Our Greatest Fear
    It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
    We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
    talented and fabulous?

    Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God.
    Your playing small does not serve the world.
    There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
    people won't feel insecure around you.

    We were born to make manifest the glory of
    God that is within us.

    It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
    And as we let our own light shine,
    we unconsciously give other people
    permission to do the same.

    As we are liberated from our own fear,
    Our presence automatically liberates others.

    —Marianne Williamson

    [Often said to have been quoted in a speech by Nelson Mandela. The source is Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, Harper Collins, 1992. —Peter McLaughlin]
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    Aug 8 2013: My biggest fear is fear itself. Other than instinctive fear for survival most fear is disabling.
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    Aug 19 2013: What is my biggest fear: is the fear of God (my worship and life are not accepted by God...)
    Why: No guarantees (and no one really knows what is out there after life -we believe, we have faith but we don't know or can guarantee our acceptance)
    What have I done: Keep on the good work, look and search for the truth, try to work harder and stay positive :)
    • W T

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      Aug 23 2013: Your comment reminded me of several scriptural texts.........

      "They publicly declare they know God, but they disown him by their works, because they are detestable and disobedient and not approved for good work of any sort." Titus 1:16

      "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God; but not according to accurate knowledge; 3 for, because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. " Romans 10:2-3

      “For the reason that this people have come near with their mouth, and they have glorified me merely with their lips, and they have removed their heart itself far away from me, and their fear toward me becomes men’s commandment that is being taught, .....................the wisdom of their wise men must perish, and the very understanding of their discreet men will conceal itself.” Isaiah 29:13-14

      I think that many times in life, that small voice inside, tells us when we are not living up to what we feel is right..........whatever we have chosen that "right" to be.

      In your case, and yes, in mine also, we have principles we have said we will uphold.

      How to live in peace? Never set up your own righteousness.....pray for not become wise in your own eyes......make sure your works are in harmony with your public declaration or worshipping God.

      And may I add, that fear, the fear that God speaks of in scripture, is a fear of displeasing God.
      So, yes, we all do well to fear "not being acceptable to Him". Because like a loving Father, we do not want to displease Him with our lack of integrity-keeping choices.

      Thank you for helping me meditate on these points by allowing me to make a mental connection through your comment.
      It is my desire that perhaps something of what I have written has upbuilt your faith.
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    • Aug 23 2013: It's not that hard to figure out the answer to that question. Just pray and ask God how you're doing, and He'll tell you.
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        Aug 24 2013: HI Scot,
        How many times do you pray if I may ask? Muslims prays five times a day every day, they (we) worship God as well as ask him for his mercy and kindness and his greatness to help us and support us and guide us and most importantly forgive us for what do wrong because of us... and many more prayers.

        But, you said "He'll tell you" How? Do you believe there will be a spiritual connection or he will physically come to you? If not (and it is not) then what guarantees do you have? What if those were your illusions talking to you or better your sub concious guiding you. Not even prophets claimed they had that kind of power (to Guarantee) and they where the most spiritual human been, so How can we? There are no guarantees my dear, fear of God must exist to continue your Good work and his Love as well to balance it.

        But yes continue praying and keep on the good work (look for the truth) that's your closest hope. Thank you.
        • W T

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          Aug 26 2013: Why do you only pray 5 times?
          And, may I ask, are your prayers repeating the same words over and over, or are they more like a conversation?

          I am asking out of curiosity, in my community it is rare to meet with a Muslim who will discuss their faith openly.

          Thank you Mr. Shirah.

          We (by we I mean people of my faith), we approach God in prayer incessantly.
          In other words, we converse with him all day, for many reasons, and in many ways.
          I am unable to count how many times I speak to God daily.
          It is like my family conversations. I am unable to count how many times I have spoken to my children in a day. We have an intimate relation in the family. And we have an intimate relation with God. Of course, prayers are a solemn thing. We approach God with respect and reverence each time we pray, but we do not count or have specific times to approach him, since scripture does not specify such counsel.
        • Aug 26 2013: How many times do I pray....hmm....hard to put that down. At the very least four or five times a day formally, and who knows how many else informally. I think we both have a different meaning for the word prayer. By prayer I mean a two-way communication with God, where I talk to Him, tell Him what I'm thinking, and listen for His answers in my heart and mind. What do you mean by prayer?

          Yeah, I mean a spiritual connection. If by guarantees you mean scientific evidence, then I have none. There's a point when I have to either decide that what I feel and experience is real or not. But what I have felt and experienced is pretty strong and undeniable, so I just choose to believe that. (I mean, if I can't trust my own life, then who can I trust?) Christians call it the Holy Ghost. Do Muslims believe in that kind of spiritual communication?

          Prophets communicate with God regularly in the same method. How else would they know His word? How else would you know that what they say is actually God's word, if they're really prophets or just imposters? Without some kind of communication from God, all of religion completely breaks down.
        • W T

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          Aug 28 2013: Mr. Shirah, As-salamu alaykum

          Thank you for your reply, and explanation of your prayers.
          That was very kind of you.

          Kind Regards,
        • Sep 4 2013: It is the defining of god which is my greatest fear. When men define or describe god they are limiting god in that very act and thought and prayer, and their limited gods look very like common men out to impose their ideas, needs, desires and rules on other people. This imposition of anyone's idea of god seems to me the most terrible act anyone can take. The definition of god and the idea that anyone can tell what god wants of us, what god is or god thinks or god demands of us is the ultimate hubris, likely to lead us to create a hell here on earth for others, like the women enslaved and murdered because they do not conform to a standard which some man's interpretation of god imposes on them. Defining god as being a certain size, age, color, sex or defining god's desires and needs and moods as being similar to human needs and desires says to me that the person defining god is only expressing his own small choices, and that such a person is unable by virtue of his limiting rules and definition of god to ever come close to making contact with god.
          Many religious people pray continually. I have heard a person who continually lives life as and within prayer called a Householder, when Buddhist. Every act, every thought is a prayer, and every situation therefore is an experience of life and of "god".
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        • Aug 26 2013: How do you know that?
        • W T

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          Aug 27 2013: Many people fear that God is so far removed from humans that he just will not answer prayers.

          And yet, the scriptures call him the 'hearer of prayers'.

          However, God does not answer everyone's prayers. God may actually 'turn his back' on a prayer.

          Prayer is a wonderful topic to discuss in light of the scriptures.

          There are many examples of individuals who have prayed for specific things, and have received a reply. While others, use God as an amulet and expect to be heard at whim.
          It just doesn't work that way.
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        • Aug 28 2013: Personal experience, as well as the experience of my family, many of my friends, and other people all over the world I've come in contact with. I can even direct you to a website where tens of thousands of people have uploaded a profile detailing their own experiences. No scientific evidence to be sure, but enough to convince me. I've taught people with no religious background whatsoever about how to come into personal contact with God and they did it on their own. Anyone can do it if they really want to. It's completely a personal decision though. God doesn't force Himself on anyone. But He's real, and I know that more than I know anything.
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          Aug 29 2013: Dear Chris, meditation is good we call it "Monajat" and ofcurse we do it and believe it. and thou it takes you to a very comfort zone and strengthen your believe and faith, it will never provide you a guarantee from God that you are accepted.

          Think of the other people in this world who claim they believe and claim they have evidences of their believes -that are not based on individual or groups opinion or things that you don't see or feel- but actual real evidences and that completely contradict your believes! So there might be even a simple possibility 0.0001% that you are wrong :) and so my question remains can you guarantee -on behalf of God and not out of your believe of God- that you will be accepted by God? I think we all agree that the answer is "No" as no one can talk on behalf of God! And so the biggest fear remains the fear of not being accepted by God and if you overcome that fear then you should fear nothing cause even death is nothing but your transport to heaven).
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          Aug 30 2013: To Tali Ara

          In my experience, I have found that many a times we expect God to work according to our understanding and when the results are not as per our will but His will, we see it as a prayer not answered.
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        Aug 28 2013: One of the biggest fears that a loving parent has is the fear of having harm come to their child due to violence.

        I think that inside all countries are individuals with both faith, and spirituality.

        There are also those without faith and spirituality, who take liberties with their power and oppress and hurt humankind.

        Little children everywhere are hurt. Not just in Syria, but everywhere in the world.

        Is it really God's fault, that such violence occurs?
        Is it because he is not listening to prayers that Syrians, as well as others are suffering worldwide?

        Everyone has their own answers to these questions. It all depends on what you have read, and what your personal experiences are with religion, and life in general.

        I do not think that, as you say, some people think they are more special than others.

        Given the fact that unforeseen occurrences befall us all, I doubt that individual Christian see God as someone who is to be treated as a good luck charm, who protects his servants from terrible things.

        There is a lot to discuss in this topic, but I think it should be done in a conversation all it's own.

        And I think it would be a wonderful thing to exchange views of how we cope with our fears.

        Because while some of us avail ourselves of the privilege of prayer, others use different techniques.
        It is in the spirit of sharing information for the upbuilding of our lives that we should endeavor to share freely what works for us.........doing so with a mild temper, and deep respect for our fellow TEDsters. IMHO. :)
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          Sep 2 2013: I can understand that one...The other day I got upset with my li'l nephew and spoke a little rude...he immediately had the scared look in his eyes that just broke my heart thinking "how could I do something so mean to a li'l child?"

          Even thinking about it hurts. So yes, I may include that as one of my deadliest fears...
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      Aug 27 2013: Agree to the very first comment, Mr. Maher Shirah! We might look at our efforts and actions to be enough for God's acceptance but only God and God alone knows what is in our hearts.

      Everyone knows and claims truth in their own way with their personal understanding...what I find ironical is that we limit God based on our finite understanding and underestimate His powers and infinity of His being and hence we assume that we and those who agree with our faith will be accepted and rest of them will be rejected!
      • W T

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        Aug 27 2013: Your point of 'there are those who assume that they, and those who agree with their faith will be accepted, and the rest rejected is a very valid one.

        I do agree with you that many times humans underestimate His powers.............especially His power to Love us. :)
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          Aug 27 2013: This is all interesting conversations, lest's not forget that God is Love yes "forgivable", "merciful" but also "almighty" God is "fair"!

          And back to your earlier query about our prayers, our prayers in definition is different than yours and I am glad you asked, so we have what is called "Doa'a" and that is similar to your prayers in principle, it has no limits, no specific time in fact we use this kind of prayer all day and almost associated with every event (That in principle similar what you described as a conversation but God is hearing it all but we hear nothing -as voice or vocal or even spiritual- however we may see or maybe feel the responses in normal life events or maybe not and that is ok in all cases as we believe that God hears it all, so a conversation from one side if you may) that kind of prayers has a recommended repeating verses such as "help me", "save me", "give me the power" but again its not limited to a specific words or time or a place.

          The other kind of prayers are "Prayers" and that is more like worshiping that also include "Doa'a" in different places of the prayer itself. Those prayer are minimum required five times a day everyday but it has no upper limits (as per your capacity). Those prayers are to worship all'ah "God" and they have specific time and some repeating moves and words but also reading different verses from the Qura'an "the holy book and the word of God" as we believe.

          We also believe that "Living" is no different from worshiping, working for example, doing or saying good things, and that is like living and imagining that God is next to you, so you do everything perfectly as you can...

          I still believe we should fear God, we should fear him as much as we love him. And if my biggest Love is God then my biggest fear is also God.

          (And back to the question, who can guarantee that his or her or my work will be accepted? No one except God and only God)
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    Aug 14 2013: I have noticed that as I become older, I have fewer and fewer fears. Most of the stuff that people mention on this thread does not seem to matter much.
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      Aug 14 2013: Based on my experience with aging, it gets better and better as we get older Arkady!

      Perhaps we learn that there is nothing to fear, but fear itself? Perhaps we have had very challenging experiences in the life adventure, and we think/feel.....well if I can do that, what else can be too much worse? Perhaps we see more and more that fear and worry uses energy that can be used in a more productive way? Perhaps we have gained some wisdom about what is more, or less important?

      Personally, as I age, one of my favorite mantras sinks in to deeper and deeper levels of understanding and practice because as I have less energy, I want to "spend" it wisely:>)
      "Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference"
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      Aug 23 2013: "As I become older, I have fewer and fewer fears", its a real rule man
      But as you know this, more you have to fear people who have more experiences of living, since they won't fear what they do to you.
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        Aug 23 2013: Re: "But as you know this, more you have to fear people who have more experiences of living, since they won't fear what they do to you."

        Not really. As I become older, I better understand older people as I go through the same experiences as they have gone through - growing children, aging parents, deaths of closed ones, health issues, work-related stuff, financial and economic problems. I live through economic and political "problems" which younger people have not seen. We fear what we don't know. What we know and understand (or, at least, familiar with), we do not fear. As we get older, we become familiar with more things and experiences. Hence, less fear.
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          Aug 23 2013: The rate of getting experienced is not the same in all people, someone at my age may have a better vision than me, he knows what my fears are, so I have to fear him !

          "We fear what we don't know", its just one kind of fear, most of our fears are from what we know, as an ex., a little kid doesn't know how harmful is fire for him, so he like to play with it, but once he got burnt, once he knows the fire, he has a new fear !
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          Aug 24 2013: I agree Arkady, that as we experience more of life, we are generally able to connect more with compassion and empathy, because we have shared many of the same experiences.

          I agree with you too Mohammad, that "the rate of getting experienced is not the same in all people". We can experience the interconnections, compassion and empathy at any age if we are mindfully aware.

          I also agree with both of you that fears come from what we don't know, as well as what we think we "know".

          I find the best practice, is to "know thyself", which gives us courage and confidence to navigate the life experience whether or not we have internal or external challenges, whether or not we are unfamiliar or familiar with challenges.

          I do not agree Mohammad that we "have to fear" anything. If we travel the life adventure with an open heart and mind, willing to learn and grow with the process, recognizing our interconnections, there is less fear at any age.
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        Aug 25 2013: Mohammad,

        Perhaps, when you say that we have to fear those who know our fears, you mean that when people know our weaknesses, they can exploit them to manipulate us. This is, certainly, true. E.g. when I came to the United States and did not have a green card, I feared a lay-off because my immigration status depended on the employment. When someone fears a divorce too much, this person gives power to the partner for emotional manipulation.

        By having fears, we give power to other people to exploit them. Often, when people realize their power over other people, they are tempted to use and abuse it. I think, this is widely used by media and politicians. E.g. fear of terrorism is exploited to justify wars, military spending, and encroachments on civil liberties. Fear of gun violence is exploited to encroach on civil liberties as well.

        As Coleen mentioned, knowing ourselves and why we fear things is instrumental in getting rid of the fears. I personally also like religious teachings that instruct to worry not about tomorrow, not to get overly attached to things and people, and have faith that there is a power that would take care of us. I understand that there is no evidence for such power and often things turn out badly, but I still find this faith useful.

        Frequently, worry itself makes things worse, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. E.g., when we fear to lose a relationship, we may tolerate abuse and, actually, encourage this abuse letting the other person feel that we would tolerate it. Another example - out of the fear of terrorism, U.S. attacks other countries thus increasing anti-American sentiment in these countries and increasing the likelihood of terrorism against U.S. and increasing public support for it.
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    Aug 29 2013: Hi Chris,

    Thank you for the reminder. I guess the answers to Why and What were so obvious that it somehow slipped my mind. Here here are my answers. Better late than never!

    2. Why? I have lived the last 27 years of my life like the prodigal son. I wasted my time, money and talents on friends who aren't even a part of my life now. Something terrible but beautiful happened to me a couple of months back. I did wake up from my self-centered life and realized that I had made all the wrong friends who vanished when things got tough.I now have a clear head and realize that my part in life is more than just a mere battle for survival and meaningless existence. I'm trying to live a purposeful life now.

    3. What have I done? I have woken up from my illusions and have found my voice. I'm actively taking part in forums and discussions like these. I'm learning like I never learnt before. I quit my old job and have taken up a profession that is more satisfying and meaningful. I have even started writing a blog. I know that I haven't really done much, but I'm trying to make the best of what I've left. I want to connect to like-minded people everyone and do something for our fallen world!
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    Aug 24 2013: My greatest fear is to be at the end of my life without having done anything worthwhile with my time, talents and energy.
  • Aug 11 2013: The moment that the one l have believed and loved has troubles with me is most scary thing. I put my prioirty on relationships with others. It means a lot to me. Forming firm relationship is really really awesome and great thing:)
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    Aug 10 2013: Dear All, this message is expressed from my heart, only it from heart can be explained and it can be understood.

    What is my biggest fear?
    My biggest fear is: " I cannot die and I cannot live my life as a human ".

    In Peace & In Joy
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      Aug 14 2013: Dear Lamb Lamb,
      You say your message is from the heart and can be explained and understood? Can you help me understand? You are living as a human are you not?
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        Aug 17 2013: Thanks for your care and concern; I can see, I can hear, I can feel and I can think …..

        I see, I hear and I know turning back the boats is doomed to failure.
        Nothing I can help … you think I am living as a human ….

        In Peace
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          Aug 19 2013: Yes, I care Lamb Lamb.

          I read the article, and unfortunately, could not open the video.

          Does the issue with the boat people cause you to feel less human? Sorry I am having difficulty understanding.

          Peace my friend.
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        Aug 21 2013: Of course, there is no legislation and to make me / people happy in Australia. But, many things they do affect my wellbeing. When I knew Gov. decided to turn back the boats. With time, Gov. does not have capacity to investigate the current issues and change for good. Gov. can seriously ill society we live in. Gov. does not solve problems government is the problem!

        In Peace
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          Aug 24 2013: Governments do indeed affect our wellbeing Lamb Lamb, and I agree that our leaders do not always make the best choices for the people, which sometimes contributes to problems, rather than solutions.

          I continue to remind myself that as a citizen of a country, I am part of the government because I vote and participate on a local level as much as I can, with local elections and appointments.

          That is how I overcome any fear of our participating to the best of my ability, and trusting/hoping that others will do the same.
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    Aug 9 2013: That I shall start to take myself seriously. Life insists ; take it seriously old boy, don't fool around.
    I kid a lot just to shake the creepy feeling that I got everything figured out.
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      Aug 14 2013: Your comment reminds me of a song Pabitra! Well, truth be known, almost EVERYTHING reminds me of a song...LOL

      I sang stuff like this from the time I was a child, and I think it served to "program" me in a most delightful way.....oops, there's another song:>)
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        Aug 14 2013: Awwww!!! :) Well I think I can somehow pass as one of those idiots and say 'Aal iz well'
        If you want to know how you have to sit through this 3 hour silliness :)
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          Aug 16 2013: Great film, Pabitra! Made my evening yesterday :)

          I'm sure you never said 'Sir Snake, bless my Physics, I promise you a pint of milk a day" :)
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          Aug 29 2013: Dear Pabitra,
          I watched some of the video you provided the link for, and intended to come back to it. Now it is not has been removed!!! Sorry I missed it.

          I wholeheartedly agree with your original comment...not good to take ourselves too seriously my friend. Looks like this comment thread has turned into "my god", "your god" who is the "best god"!!!
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    Aug 15 2013: Hay there fellow pilot. My biggest fear would be knowing that I have a biggest fear.

    I guess that I am a fatalist. If it is going to happen it will. So why waste my time worrying about it.
  • Aug 11 2013: my biggest fear is:death.I am still on the way to question myself:why.So far I can't over come it yet.
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      Aug 23 2013: Death itself ? or how you may die ?!
      • Aug 24 2013: Death itself,from my background education,I never got any positive education about death untill a few years ago,I read some psychological books or books about good education,about life how we deal with...I started to be inspired something.But it is still very vague to define or understand well death itself...

        Only thing I can say:I am on the way to search what is the so called:death,as well as life.
      • Aug 30 2013: Hi Dear Chris Kelly,exactly the Tao does explains very deeply about death conciousness.But we didn't learn too much about it when we were studying at school,probably just learned some others ideas about Tao from elder people.Infact all ideas about that were vague for me.So far,we our schools' education don't pay so much about Tao ideas yet.But teaching in action is more effective than curriculum.It seems HongKong or Taiwan is doing a good job about ancient chinese culture transmiting.
        Yes,u are right,it depends when I could be conscious what I learnt.
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    Aug 10 2013: No (special) fears. I'm seriously worried about the horrible perspective of asking to myself, when I'll become old, if I have taken advantage of my time of life on Earth to do useful (or beautiful, or helpful, or pleasant, or..) things, or if my best and frquent task has been wasting time...
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      Aug 14 2013: Hello Sean,
      I don't perceive time to ever be "wasted". Even if our time spent is less active, we can read, ponder, meditate, etc., and simply "BE" with an opportunity to learn. Is a perception of "wasting time" a judgment on our part?
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        Aug 15 2013: Hi ColleenI 'm not sure if I've been well understood. I agree with the terms of your statement (because I think similarly to you about that question) , but in addition, I'd like to explain a little more better my opinion. What I wanted to say, is that what I don't like is wasting my time, wandering without any defined purpose, an objective. I really think than sometimes resting quietly with our mind/body working slow,, it's very pleasant and sometimes an useful medicine. But after this, if one continues in that situation, it's probably to begin feeling bored, and as if wasting (a precious) time. This is a situation I consider not desirable at all.In my opinion a well balanced life should be composed of well balanced resting and/or reflection moments and tons of action. For me, ideal life is composed by a lot of action and some well placed moments of peace and quietfulness. I hope have been able to transmit correctly this opinion ...: )Greets.
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          Aug 15 2013: Thanks for your reply Sean. I think I understood, and it's always nice to clarify. We do indeed, often share some of the same perspectives:>)

          As I age, I recall that I was a very active person....sometimes I wonder how the heck I did so many things in one day!!! With age, I have less energy, and that means less activity.

          Sometimes, I evaluate my time and activity, and remind myself that it is ok if I did not do as much today. I totally agree.....a good life is balanced, and when we "know" ourselves, we find and experience that balance:>)
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    Aug 8 2013: for kidding ,my biggest fear is Injection, but , losing my parents and my brothers is biggest
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      . .

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      Aug 29 2013: I wish that you be well and live a long, sweet and meaningful life........ which includes the nearness of your parents, brothers and loved ones - always.
  • Aug 8 2013: Short term: the fear of not trying and the regret that will follow

    long term: dementia
  • Aug 8 2013: My biggest fear is actually fear itself. I have panic disorder, so fear is something I face daily. I'm trying to figure out what to do to overcome it, but simply researching that can cause even more fear.
  • Sep 7 2013: The fear of rejection.
    Because, I'm a little too sensitive and most people (men) don't pay attention to details.
    I tend to keep to myself than risk being rejected.
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    Sep 6 2013: If you are interested in discussing children and fear, I am ready to discuss this topic.

    Children's specific fears (Child Care Health Dev. 2009 Nov; 35(6):781-9)
    The most commonly reported fears were animals (11.6%), blood/injections (10.8%) and the dark (6.3%). Just less than 1% of all children were assessed according to International Classification of Diseases research diagnostic criteria as having a specific phobia. (BMJ 2003 Jan 25;326(7382):211-2
    Fear of the dark in children: is stationary night blindness the cause?
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    Sep 5 2013: My biggest fear is to keep in touch with something I'm not familiar with.
  • Sep 3 2013: I can understand what you are talking about. My biggest fear is darkness. As you know darkness covers everything. İf there is a bad things it happens 80% in darkness. When I was my village I walked in darkness a long time and I usually turned back and checked my back if there is sth. So Darkness is my biggest fear try and see. don't forget you must be alone.
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      Sep 4 2013: Dear Ennie

      Yes. We must be alone.
      What is your bigger fear between Darkness and Death?

      Warm regards,
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      Sep 4 2013: You may want to capitalize on that fear and write a children's fiction book. :)

      Many cartoons and bedtime stories for children mention this fear........


      It is interesting that even as adults we may sometimes give in to the fear of the dark.......even leaving a night light on somewhere in the house.

      Living in the city, there is always light somewhere around me......but I remember staying in the boonies once, at a family member's country home. When the lights went out, I couldn't even see my hand in front of me, and trust me, I waved it back and forth plenty, to make sure I wasn't seeing was very scary.
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        Sep 6 2013: Thanks for telling me cartoon-book…. we are all requested in the dark.

        I am thinking Melatonin that is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan. Melatonin is released only when the environment darkens, in night time.

        Another way to say endogenous-sleep-promotion substance is Melatonin. Our biological system can produce Melatonin in the dark.
    • Sep 4 2013: I used to live in foothills where it was so dark that I was terrified even driving home alone. It seems so instinctive, that fear of what is stalking us, that even in a car with bright headlights on, I felt afraid and watchful. it's one fear we probably shouldn't try to overcome it. There's no real reason to overcome. unless we are hunting ourselves and need the dark because our prey is nocturnal or so that we can stalk something without being seen.
      Lots of predators, like lions, hunt in full daylight, but we are so much less afraid then. Interesting conversation.
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      Aug 30 2013: So, I guess you also fear people who do not think the same way as you?

      Is that why you are fleeing?
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          Aug 30 2013: know what they say don't you?

          "God wants spiritual fruits..........not religious nuts."

          I wouldn't want to be stuck in a room with a religious nut either. :D
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          Aug 31 2013: Tali,
          I think I understand what you mean. Anyone who would try to impose their own beliefs, and insist that everyone follow those beliefs (or else) is frightening.

          I have lived 60+ years practicing some religious and philosophical beliefs, studying, researching various philosophical/religious beliefs, having friends and relatives with varying religious/philosophical beliefs, and I have always felt comfortable with all of it. I respect all people and their beliefs AS LONG AS THOSE BELIEFS DO NOT ADVERSLY IMPACT OTHER PEOPLE.

          With my involvement on TED a few years ago, I started learning more about what religions and religious beliefs do to some people, and it is quite astounding!

          We observe, right here on this thread, that a person is fine with having a fear of god, and NOT ok with you having a fear of religions people! Wow....what's wrong with this picture?
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          Aug 31 2013: That is a recognized theory Chris Kelly, and one which we can all learn from. People often tend to see in others that which they most need to recognize within themselves.

          I do not agree Tali that religion always causes that kind of can sometimes apparently.
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    Aug 30 2013: Dear Chris, I never reported any comments to TED :) and as I always say my biggest fears is God (is your comments God hahahah! Or are you God hahaha,,, don't worry I never report or delete any comments
  • Aug 27 2013: My fear is that as a species you will not make it.

    The depth and breath of humanity's stupidity and petite vindictiveness is staggering. It's inability to use rationalization of thought, understanding of motivation, the very act's humanity performs for the benefit of the few, the beliefs you've been given, all lead humanity down an inexorable path. And that humanity as a whole cant use it's intellect to see where that path leads.

    A yellow brick road that humanity cant see is the path to it's own demise nor that humanity can even be bothered to see, nor comprehend where it's actions and thus the path takes it. As it only deals with the minutia of the moment. Completely forgoing the ability to use it's mind to rationalize others thoughts, actions and beliefs, and see where the goals intersect diverge and why and how to address them in a way that progress all of the species rather than a few, and in that self imposed slaughterhouse, not realize that those who are slaughtered may very well have the key to salvation.

    In the final moments that many will plead with their god, as the end is finally apparent and there is no salvation, begging their god to save their lilly-white asses from being burnt of the face of the earth - desperately using whatever justification is nearest at hand.

    Maybe in that last second of life, the final realization will come, that humanity has been a complete hypocrite in using that name, that belief, in an idea that there is some all powerful being and loving being, to slaughter your fellow mankind since day 1. And finally understand - you've done nothing to deserve salvation.

    Hopefully understanding, only too late, as humanities death takes hold and in it's last collective breath, that humanity see's it had it's salvation was within its grasp all along. Save, that one too realizes, humanity as a whole was just to blind, arrogant and petite to see it.

    My fear is in that self-inflicted extinction, what had potential is now forever lost
    • Sep 4 2013: I used to have this same fear for our species, but I have come to accept that we are only one step in an on-going flowering of life on this planet, and that something else will live after us as so many species lived before. Given our recent research into other species which, like us, love and mourn each other, have fears and triumphs and can communicate quite well with each other through vocalizations, scents, body language, sign language, sounds that humans cannot hear and so on, I do not fear that any advances we have made as a species will be lost. Lots of other species have similar accomplishments.
      Also, we are so adaptable, able to live in so many climates on so many foods and in so many types of clothing, housing, towns and cultures, I really think that if only a few of us are left, as after the last extinction following the ice age 13,000 years ago, see "The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes by Firestone, West and Warwick-Smith, we will come back in a more advanced state if most of us are wiped out again, no matter by what future plague, meteor or change of climate. As long as we have a functioning sun and the moon, we will probably survive just about anything. So, my friend, I hope this helps you overcome this particular fear.
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    Aug 16 2013: Hi Kimberley,

    This is a good question to investigate, isn't it? We are all visited by this special FRIEND every now and then, aren't we? Meaning, we associate Thoughts with events, and the association we make, will dictate our response to the events. The association is made immediately, as a conditioned response (classical conditioning). Now, it is ok to be "visited" by thoughts, but befriending them, especially the negative ones, and making them part of - or putting them in charge of our reality, could be somewhat tiresome and unhealthy, don't you agree?
    So, you assume, somewhat correctly, that we are all entertaining Fear, and from this assumption, you pose a question: what is your biggest fear you entertain or befriend? To me, the question is somewhat different. You see, Fear is nothing other than Avoidance. Avoidance creates Fear, so the the context you try to avoid, takes on an unpleasant flavor, so we distance ourselves from it. This distance, avoidance, is fear, for we refuse to face something, giving it the power by running away from it. But by running away from things we are not able to know the truth of things, which makes us speculate, and you know what speculating is, just watch Wall Street. I am not saying you should not avoid a car speeding your way, but avoiding some things because we pre-empt of the result, psychologically, is fear itself. Now, if I have a fear, id the fear of not facing reality, because without reality, I am lost. And fear causes stress, so why not get rid of it?
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    Aug 16 2013: im dying, and i cant even have time to make my all dreams come true
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      Aug 23 2013: can't understand, HOW are you dying when you are still alive ?!!!
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        Aug 23 2013: you're getting too serious bro. that's not happening to me now for sure. it's just an "example". -_-
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    Aug 13 2013: Being stuck in a predictable cookie cutter life.
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      Aug 14 2013: How is that possible? The moment we think we are in a predictable situation - wham! and it's not as predictable as we expected. It can be a car accident, a spouse leaving, a job lost, or getting sick. Most people want security and predictability, but when they, finally get it (or think they get it), they feel bored or feel like they have sacrificed their freedom and privacy.

      There needs to be a balance. Predictability is boring, complete chaos is stressful and frustrating.
  • Aug 11 2013: My fear is what evolution says is fearful nothing more why? because it says so.
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      • Aug 29 2013: What? like evolution could be proven wrong? how? it's a proven scientific fact saying evolution is false is like saying the earth is flat and we are the center of the universe. And what if religion is proven wrong? actually it has been but i guess you don't think so.
      • Aug 30 2013: ummm so where did man evolve from? that's a proven fact that we evolved from neanderthals there are many many mnay links invetween all of them so it's alot of proof
  • Aug 9 2013: Today, I watched President Obama being interviewed yesterday by Jay Leno.

    My biggest fear?
    The American Dream of Hard Work and Get Ahead has been lost.

    I watched as my biggest fear was made into a reality with one Obama lie.

    What have I done to over-come it?
    I have spoken out harshly concerning our government's secret surveillances
    of American citizens. I have labeled such, as illegal practices, done in complete
    disregard of both protections of the 1st and 4th amendments to our constitution.

    I herein beg TED to sponsor a conversation to air this subject completely.
    • Sep 4 2013: Why would you think the American dream is of hard work and get ahead? Most people do not dream of hard work, they dream of an easier life, many other things like laughter, love, freedom, travel, sports and freedom from pain or hunger. They dream of being free from worrying about or working to take care of others, freedom from sickness and harassment by governments or religions or neighbors or family members.

      Business, government and religions have imposed so many strictures on people's lives that many of us do not have time to dream of anything at all.

      Children dream of being part of a play group, eating good things, owning things, pleasures and amusements and of the right and ability to rest and to sleep comfortably. They do not dream of hard work, but of accomplishment and the rewards, including self-esteem, that come from accomplishment, but if they are able to accomplish things easily, that's fine.

      I dream of never having to fill out forms like insurance policy questionnaires and income taxes and anything else that disturbs my thoughts or the work I choose to do. I dream of having enough energy to take care of the people and things I am or feel I am responsible for and still having enough time and creative energy to do what I love doing. Painting and writing and viewing this gorgeous world we live in all lights and weathers.

      I think the true American dream is freedom from interference, and is expressed not only in wanting to be kings and queens of our own "castles" but of our space within culture.
      Americans want the freedom which the American Indians actually had when the colonists came here. Religion was not imposed on them. No one told them when to eat or hunt or pray or dance.

      Obama is trying to do his job. Your American dream was lost for average Americans under Bush.
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        Sep 5 2013: I think many people dream of working hard at meaningful work, regardless of nationality, and having the gratifying feeling of accomplishment that derives from it. Mihalyi Czikzentmihalii's talk about "flow" focuses on this idea of compelling connection to the process rather than only the outcome of work..

        Martin Seligman's talk on positive psychology supports this as well, while also supporting with research people's gratification in autonomy and in being challenged.
  • Aug 8 2013: Insanity. It seems to be growing throughout the world, and I fear that perhaps it is not the world, just me.
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    Aug 8 2013: Fear of being incarcerated.
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    Aug 8 2013: .

    What is your biggest fear?
    It is being unable to make a-step-better for keeping our DNA alive.

    Because it is the goal of life.

    What have you done to over come it?
    Do my best to keep the fear away.
  • Aug 7 2013: I guess my biggest fear is dying before I have done all I can do to help my family survive and the next generation thrive.

    I try to be healthy and look for opportunities to help my family survive and pass on whatever I have to give to the next generation.
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      Aug 8 2013: You can only do what you can do. I say not to worry about what you can't control
      • Aug 8 2013: Thanks Kimberly.

        I really do not worry much about anything, so while it may be my biggest fear, they are all stored neatly in a box somewhere in my attic.

        It is actually even less of a fear now that the kids are mostly grown and moving towards self-sufficiency.

        I use to be concerned I would not be there to teach, protect, nurture, and show them how to enjoy life. They are both pretty well balanced and happy, so now i am more like a Bonsai tree pruner.
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    Aug 7 2013: Drowning and asphyxiation. The first was due to 2 incidents when i was a kid which never really truely gripped me but left it's mark in dreams though, there was the time when i first went under on tank air. The panic that takes over as the surface rises away from you can be scary. The 2nd can't be conquered
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    Aug 7 2013: That I have not properly prioritized my fears.
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      Aug 8 2013: and than the fear that your priorities are off lol
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        Aug 9 2013: Agreed, and rephrased accordingly: "That I have not properly evaluated and prioritized my fears."
        Winston Churchill said, "I have dealt with many worries (fears) in my life, some of which actually happened."
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    Aug 7 2013: Probably going blind. I don't know how to overcome it.
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    Aug 7 2013: I want to be fearless .

    My biggest fear is that i may not be able to be absolutely fearless..
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      Aug 8 2013: If you were absolutely fearless, what would you do?